PLDT survives Meralco, nears V-L sweep
2 p.m. – PLDT vs Fourbees-Perpetual
4 p.m. – Cagayan vs Meralco
PLDT 6 0
Army 4 1
Cagayan Valley 3 1
Meralco 2 2
Navy 2 3
Perpetual 2 3
Baguio 1 5
Coast Guard 0 5
Down 1-2 for the first time, PLDT Home Ultera simply imposed its power and will in the fourth then warded off Meralco in the decider to pound out a 25-23, 23-25, 19-25, 25-12, 15-11 decision and move closer to sweeping the Shakey’s V-League Season 12-Open Conference elims at The Arena in San Juan City Sunday.
Alyssa Valdez, doing what she does best, stepped up her attack in the fourth and the Ultra Fast Spikers clobbered the Power Spikers, 25-12, after falling two-sets-to-one for the first time following an emphatic sweep of their first four matches in the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
The Power Spikers still came out fighting in the fifth, dragging the Ultra Fast Spikers to a see-saw battle until setter Rubie de Leon, skipper Sue Roces and Rysabelle Devanadera joined Valdez in stretching their unbeaten run to six and dealing Meralco its second loss against two wins.
“We’re very happy (with the win). But we found out some flaws in our game so we need to work hard to improve,” said Valdez, who banged in 23 hits, including 19 kills and three blocks for the first team to make it to the semis of the conference presented by PLDT Home Ultera.
Jaja Santiago, the top blocker in the league backed by Mikasa and Accel, went on an attack mode this time and made 12 attacks for a 14-hit output while Roces, Soltones and De Leon added 11, 10 and seven points, respectively, in a match aired live over GMA News TV Channel 11.
Cagayan Valley also went through a wringer, holding off a rallying Navy side, 25-18, 25-7, 22-25, 23-25, 15-9, to assure itself of a playoff for a semis berth at 4-1 in a tie with Army. Navy slid to 2-4.
It was a sorry setback for the Power Spikers, who had appeared to have neutralized the Ultra Fast Spikers’ juggernaut with heads-up plays from Aby Maraño, Steph Mercado, Charleen Cruz and Maica Morada to seize a rare 2-1 set lead.
But they lost steam in the end and reeled with a couple of miscues, enabling the Ultra Fast Spikers to escape with the win in two hours and two minutes. PLDT goes for a sweep against Fourbees-Perpetual Help Tuesday.
Mercado dished out one of her best games, topscoring with 18 hits while Maraño, Morada and Cruz wound up with 16, 13 and 12 points, respectively for Meralco, which remained in solo fourth but allowed Navy and Fourbees-Perpetual Help to close in with identical 2-3 cards.
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